Red Rocks Amphitheater: A Cash Cow and Cultural Icon Drawing Throngs from Afar

Red Rocks Amphitheater, an iconic outdoor music venue nestled in the heart of Colorado, is not just a cherished cultural landmark but also a cash magnet. According to the inaugural economic impact study conducted on the amphitheater, an astounding revelation emerged: nearly half of all concert-goers at Red Rocks came from out of state in the previous year, collectively injecting a whopping $305 million into the Denver metropolitan area through pre-and post-concert spending.

This remarkable statistic stands as a testament to Red Rocks’ enduring allure, drawing music enthusiasts from far and wide to witness their favorite artists in a stunning natural setting. But it’s not just the audience size that’s making waves; the study also unveiled that the record-breaking number of shows held at the venue in 2022, with Red Rocks hosting performances almost every night from April to November, has substantially boosted revenue and expanded the audience base.

Owned by the city of Denver, Red Rocks plays a pivotal role in the local economy. During its active season, it provides employment to approximately 1,500 individuals and indirectly supports an estimated 5,500 jobs. This translates into a significant annual income of $216 million in wages and an astonishing $717 million in economic output within the Denver metropolitan area, as meticulously detailed in the report prepared by BBC Research & Consulting.

Beyond the direct economic benefits, visitor spending at Red Rocks has a substantial fiscal impact through sales tax and lodging tax revenues. The study noted that this generates over $20 million annually in tax revenues for state and local governments. Remarkably, the City and County of Denver alone reap over $6 million in sales tax revenue from visitor spending associated with Red Rocks, enabling additional investments in Denver’s vibrant arts and cultural scene. This is achieved through the collection of the Facilities Development Admissions Tax.

Denver Arts & Venues, the cultural arm of the city, boasts ownership of several cultural landmarks, including Red Rocks, the Colorado Convention Center, the Denver Performing Arts Complex, Loretto Heights, and the McNichols Civic Center Building. The revenue generated by Red Rocks undoubtedly contributes to sustaining these cultural assets and enriching Denver’s artistic landscape.

Tad Bowman, the venue manager for Denver Arts & Venues, and Justin Bresler, the vice president of marketing at Visit Denver, joined Michael Verdone from BBC Research on a video call to announce the findings of the study.

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